Valley needs water filtration, CVRD hears

Filtration deferral has saved district millions

  • Feb. 5, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

Filtration is needed for the Comox Valley’s water system, medical health officer Charmaine Enns told the CVRD water committee in a Tuesday presentation about turbidity and the recent boil water advisory.

The Dec. 11 to Jan. 27 advisory was preceded by another that ran from Oct. 27 to Nov. 5. In her 12 years serving the North Island, Enns said four water advisories have been issued. The first two were shorter in duration.

“There was something uniquely different in December,” she said. “That was a sustained, elevated turbidity.”

Turbidity, or murkiness, refers to fine suspended particles picked up by water as it passes through streams and rivers in a watershed. Turbidity levels did not drop as rapidly as usual after a storm system hammered the Valley. The safety level is 1 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units).

During the advisory, officials noted the lack of a filtration system. Island Health had granted the district ‘filtration deferral.’ But as time went by, Enns said it became evident the deferral needed to be rescinded.

“We want to be fair, but have to balance with public health. Technically, you didn’t meet it (drinking water standards policy),” she said.

Area C director Edwin Grieve said directors invested years of hard work to save millions of dollars through filtration deferral.

Officials estimate a filtration system would cost $50 — $70 million.

Comox director Ken Grant, noting an impending “large bill,” questioned if the district is over-testing its water quality.

He notes too that restaurateurs and others in the tourism sector took a hit during the boil water advisory.

Manager of engineering services Marc Rutten said data from water sampling shows turbidity in Comox Lake is not organic. Enns noted that turbidity was consistent in all levels of the lake.

The CVRD will apply to a gas tax fund for the design and installation of a water filtration plant, as approved by the committee. A consultant will analyze Comox Lake source water quality in order to recommend the final treatment option for the Valley’s water system.


Just Posted

Looking for crafters for the Gnarly Little Spring Craft Fair in Courtenay

Calling all youth crafters and entrepreneurs! The Gnarly Little Spring Craft Fair… Continue reading

Courtenay supports church renos, lunch program

Council approves $25,000 request from St. George’s United

The Hub Organ Trio coming to Courtenay

The Georgia Straight Jazz Society features an amazing trio at the Avalanche… Continue reading

YANA a blessing for Michaela, Harley, and Baby Violet

Comox Valley association a pillar of the community

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

Kickers beat Meralomas in quarter-final

The Comox Valley Kickers women’s rugby team defeated the Vancouver Meralomas 56-5… Continue reading

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Kickers beat Meralomas in quarter-final

The Comox Valley Kickers women’s rugby team defeated the Vancouver Meralomas 56-5… Continue reading

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read